Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Lake Longbow

 

Today, I’m joined by my incredible business partners to share the story of a very special property that we own together. We’re taking you to Lake Longbow, a place that has become a sanctuary for us and our families. We’ll share how the COVID-19 pandemic brought us closer, leading us to form an unbreakable bond through shared experiences and adventures.

 

In 2020, we rented a mansion with a private lake, finding solace in nature, sparking our desire to make such moments a permanent part of our lives. Little did we know that this getaway would ignite a quest to find a property that could encapsulate that magic.

 

From the initial excitement of discovering Lake Longbow online to the reality check of its condition, our journey was filled with challenges and triumphs. We are navigating through the hard work of renovations, countless weekends dedicated to transforming the property, and the sheer determination to make our vision a reality.

 

Our passion for Lake Longbow extends beyond just owning land. It’s about creating a retreat where our families – and hopefully others – can escape, reconnect, and build lasting memories. We’re talking about the hurdles we faced, the moments of doubt, and the ultimate joy of seeing our children embrace the outdoors. Join us as we explore the highs and lows of this venture, the business model we’ve built to sustain it, and our dreams for its future.

 

Lake Longbow is more than just a property; it’s a testament to our commitment to family,

nature, and the pursuit of a fulfilling, grounded lifestyle. Sit back, relax, and let us take you to Lake Longbow – a place where dreams meet reality, and where every challenge is a step towards something truly extraordinary.

 

Link to Special Guest:

https://lakelongbow.com/home

This 80-acre ranch boasts a private 10-acre stocked lake and a lake lodge to stay in, which sleeps 16, multiple 4-wheeler trails, and a waterfall in the wet seasons.

 

 

For Video versions of the podcast:

https://youtube.com/@worleyrealestatenetwork

 

Connect with Jeramie and our business

https://www.linkedin.com/company/worleyrealestatenetwork

 

Copy of Jeramie’s Book, Workbook, or Audiobook

https://worleyconsulting.textretailer.com/qc/tlkA3RcG9W

 

Link to our website

https://worleyrealestatenetwork.com/

 

For a free trial to the best investment grade Short Term Rental Data tool for locating the best deals out there and to help Investors and Agents achieve mastery in their real estate business:

https://vrolio.typeform.com/worleynetwork

REMEMBERING THE TIME TOGETHER LAKE LONGBOW

Two years ago, Kelly and I took a leap of faith with our friends, Matt and Lisa, on purchasing an 80-acre ranch with a 10-acre private lake. You may have heard about us. We’ve been talking about it. It’s called Lake Longbow. It’s our family retreat, and we want to share it with many of you. We all have experience renting out short-term rentals, but we wanted to try a fun variation of this. Can we come up with a rent-a-ranch concept and make it work? This is not a turn-and-burn nightly rental in a hot tourist market. This is a classic vacation rental where we know our guests and we manage the business.

This is an hour and a half outside any large town. It’s remote and quiet. It’s a place where responsible people in need of retreat can go. The amenities here are walking trails, nearby state parks, four-by-four trails, and fishing for bass and bluegill. It’s a marksmanship paradise. It’s an archery range to sight in our bows, and yes, we do have primitive bows. It’s the swimming and the kayaking for a select group of trusted friends, and someday maybe a private hunting group. There’s no hustle and bustle. This is the destination experience and it’s a lot of work.

There’s always something to do. There’s land to manage and clear, but the more we do, the more beautiful it becomes. As we take this diamond in a rough and we restore the land to its fullest potential, it becomes righteous because it is as it ought to be. We want to put in some cabins and we are planning on putting in some RV pads to bring in some more income because the ultimate goal is to have this cabin to ourselves. I want to leave my slippers in my closet. I don’t want to clean them up for anybody.

This is the story of why we wanted it, how we found it, how we had the courage to make it happen, and how it’s going so far. We hope it inspires you to take risks because you and your family need a place where you can go. If your dreams are not scaring you, they’re not big enough. I know that sounds like a cat poster but that’s pretty much how I have lived most of my life.

Lake Longbow is where you want to go when you want to chill out and relax. The reason why I’m laughing is because, in addition to owning Lake Longbow, I’ve already written my own Lake Longbow song which I sing for all of my friends. It makes me laugh because someday I will publish this. I also have my own custom flannel and no, this is not it. The only reason why I’m wearing this is because I wanted to change my shirt and I didn’t have another shirt. Be careful what you watch. You may get inspired.

I’m surprised that we’re filming tonight. I had no idea. I put on my heels because we were having a campfire.

Your lipstick matches your earrings.

Thank you.

We’re here to tell you guys about Lake Longbow, about our passion for it, the things we want to do. Thanks for giving us the opportunity. We want to tell you a couple of stories. The first story is about how we discovered Lake Longbow and it’s very interesting. It dates back to COVID. COVID changed everything.

Pre-COVID, right before.

2020 or 2021.

I think COVID changed everything because we were in a bubble together in COVID. That solidified our relationship as families because we did the quarantine together.

We figured out that we could do life together.

We were each other’s zombie apocalypse team.

We were so integrated I think as well that it made sense that you can only see so many people. We figured if one of us got it.

We all got it.

We started doing campfires together during that time and have since been addicted to campfires. I think most people in their life, they love sitting around a campfire. I’m one of those people who’s like, “Why don’t I do it every night of my life?” Some people want to live by the beach. They go move to Florida. For me, it’s that calm and peace that comes with being grounded in nature. I didn’t realize that until we went camping.

Most people just love sitting around a campfire. It's that calm and peace that comes with being grounded in nature. Share on X

It wasn’t camping. It was a mansion. We rented a mansion.

It was camping.

It was like 500 acres with an 11-foot fence.

It was 1,600 acres. It was a red stag ranch. I don’t know what red stags look like, but we drive up to this place and a herd of red stags come bounding by.

There were between 15 and 20 at a time, with the biggest antlers you’d ever seen.

We rented a mansion for a weekend for Jeremy’s birthday and it was 2020. It was right before the COVID shutdown. We had such an amazing time. It had a private lake on it.

Four by four trails.

We went hunting for sheds out there.

That’s the thing. The most exciting thing we did that weekend was a walk in the woods looking for an antler shed. It was treasure hunting and it snowed.

Yeah. It was so magical. We reached out to the owner and we’re like, “If you ever think about selling, let us know.” We had a private chef. It was so wonderful and magical.

It was great one night. It was probably one of the best one nights I’ve ever experienced, great weekend and we got so addicted to it. I do this all the time. When we took the team to Alaska, I wanted to remove things from the term that I call bucket list. I don’t want to say bucket list anymore. I want to say lifestyle list. I wanted to turn that experience into a lifestyle for us. How do you do that? How do you take this beautiful time that you had and then buy yourself a $3 million ranch?

Instead of calling it a bucket list, call it a lifestyle list. Turn your experiences into a lifestyle. Share on X

You kept saying, “Here we go. Have a look at this. This is like camping.” It wasn’t quite the same, was it?

Just for backstory, the whole camping thing was after we’d been and after we had done it and enjoyed it. Jeramie was talking about it but had referred to it as camping.

Remember that one time when we went camping?

You meant the humongous mansion that we went to and stayed at.

We like your style of camping.

The focus was outdoors. It was how we get outdoors as much as possible. It’s just that when we ate, we had a private chef. When we slept, we were in a mansion. Aside from that, it was camping.

It was hide and seek.

That was amazing.

I think we went on a quest from that point on to find it. We would find $2 million ranches in Arkansas, or anything that was a deal that was under a million was gone by the time we showed it to each other. Then there was one September when I was at your house because I was trying to think up ideas for Kelly’s birthday. We were in your games room hanging out and Lisa was scrolling.

I’m in the lounge looking at stuff I cannot normally do as a newer agent, knowing that they’re in the games room playing pool and don’t normally like to talk about business, but I ran in and I was like, “There’s this house that I think you need to see.” I looked at it thinking, this is a house on Table Rock Lake. This is something. It seems close to Table Rock Lake. I kept scrolling and I was like, “Goodness.” I didn’t even get through the photos before I ran in. I was like, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but you need to look at this.” Jeramie went, “We need to buy it. When are we going to go and see it?” That was it. That was the start, I guess.

You guys sent it to me and I was looking at it. I was like, “There’s a lake nearby.” You guys were like, “It’s on the lake. This is part of the property.”

It was way under a million and it had been untouched for twenty years. You could tell, but what was cool about it is that we told Kelly about it and then we booked a Saturday morning to drive out there early and go take a look.

I think we said we needed to go and see it and it almost seemed too good to be true. There are 80 acres. The lake is 10 acres, a four-bedroom house on it with a basement.

Double-wide on a permanent foundation.

Deck hanging on by.

You go on the deck and it feels like you’re in Grandpa’s mansion. We’re walking sideways.

We got caution tape when we roped it off.

I think it was over the following weekend or two weekends later, we brought all the kids to your house, put them all together and we four jumped in your people carrier.

What I remember, as we were leaving the property, I was like, “This is going to be a lot of work.” Matt says, “I’m glad you realized that.” Because we saw stars in our eyes. We saw our dream and our future, but I saw a lot of random fences, a lot of random buildings, a lot of trash everywhere, stuff everywhere, a road that needed to be fixed, a house that needed to be remodeled, of course, the porch that needed to be completely rebuilt.

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Lake Longbow
Lake Longbow: The house needed to be totally remodeled. The porch needed to be completely rebuilt. But even with all of that stuff, it still felt like it was too good to be true.

 

Coming away, there was that aspect, but even with all of that stuff, it still felt like it was too good to be true. It’s still too cheap. What’s the catch?

That’s when I shot that video. I hope we have the courage to buy this someday.

I thought you were crazy when you were videoing that.

That’s what I was thinking when I was there.

Lisa thinks I’m a pessimist. I say I’m realistic. I don’t get lost in the fairy big ideas, the paint color, the fixings, and the finishes. I’m like you said. I see all the stuff that needs moving and doing. People from where we’re from don’t buy 80-acre ranches.

Especially with your own private lake. It was insane.

It didn’t seem doable, but it felt so right. It felt like without even saying, we both do it. We almost all agreed to do it anyway without saying it.

We knew. We’re going to figure out a way to do this.

Can we make this work? Knowing that it’s going to be 20 years of work. We started handling it so well. We took off and we started working and playing at the same time. Sometimes we wake up too late to do too much work. Sometimes we do too much work to stay up late.

The first night that we stayed there, we didn’t intend. We went out to visit.

We went out to visit.

We had one child missing as well.

We closed on the property. We all went out there to check it out.

Just to make sure everything is okay.

I must add at this point that I did mention that to Lisa prior to going like, “Are we going to stay there?” She’s like, “No”.

We didn’t bring anything. There’s no furniture there.

I knew we were going to stay there. It was already in my head thinking through what we needed to get at Walmart.

We did, didn’t we? We got cots and sleeping bags and pajamas, toothbrushes, coffee machine.

When we show up for our visit.

You guys are not showing up for last weekend.

We’re showing up for one of those visits.

I had to drive 40 miles to go and pick up our eldest. I met Matt’s worker here in Branson. He drove him halfway there. We met halfway. Grabbed him. He bought loads of pillows and blankets.

He went and got trash bags. He was 13 at the time. We’re like, get whatever bedding you can. He brought five great big hefty bags full of blankets and pillows and everything. We did. We ate what we got, ate off the land a little bit.

We did.

The one thing that I always remember about that is it’s a four-bedroom place. None of us went to a bedroom. We all stayed in the living room. Why? We don’t know. It was a full sleepover. All in there to see if it’s got a long living room.

Why didn’t we go to a bedroom?

It’s because we had done COVID together.

We’re like, “Let’s stay together.”

We would defend that land. You know what I mean? That land is so special. It will nourish you. It’s got water on it. It’s got a lake on it. You could settle that land. If this wasn’t civilization, this was the 1800s. This is where you would go to sustain yourself. There’s something about that raw sustainability that I think attracts people, attracts us. I grew up with my family. They invested in some homes at lakes. Every weekend, my family would go out to lakes, and we’d have this lake culture.

If the land is so special, it will nourish you. Share on X

It was this place, and then we didn’t go on wild extravagant vacations like Disney and stuff and the Smoky Mountains. I mean, we did. I remember those two vacations growing up. It wasn’t like we took a wild vacation every year. We went to our family retreat. That’s where my grandparents retired. It was special because we always had that retreat and I have all those memories. It’s such a special place for me. I want this for our kids.

That’s the thing that I think about and I say every single time, like you took a deep breath. Whenever he said that we went that for our kids. You take a deep breath, and that’s something I say every time when we’re on the levee looking out or we’re sitting on the back deck looking out over the lake, and we see the kids go, “Broom.”

“I wish that slowed down.”

We’re like, “Look at these amazing memories that these kids are making that we did for them. They will never forget this.” These were pivotal years for these guys. They are always going to remember our together time and all of their tiffs and arguments and all of the times we had, the tractor stuck and the truck stuck and all of these things. Remember that time when we all spent all day cleaning off the levee when we were making that trail? I remember when we made that trail. Those are the memories that our kids are creating.

There’s more than that. Matt and I have memories of me coming off of a three-day fast and going hunting for the first time. My buddy is going to take me hunting. I come off a three-day fast and we make mushrooms and steaks and asparagus.

I saw a picture of that meal.

You do?

I have a picture of that meal.

The bourbon, the little bit of herb, and then I woke up the next morning like damaged. My cells were completely cleaned out and I filled them with red meat.

You’re an enthusiastic guy. When we’re doing it, it could be a flow. It could be anything. You love learning about it, knowing what’s up. There was something wrong that morning.

I couldn’t make it. I tried. Kelly had to come to pick me up.

You ended up dropping out of the stand that maybe. I ended up seeing something and shooting it. I’m like looking back, waiting for him to come up the hill. Where is he? I left it for 30 minutes, an hour, and then got down and I came in the house. I’m like, “Where is he?” I open the bedroom and he’s under the cover. He’s like, “I’m not good.” “You’re fine, you stay there.” That isn’t your usual. I wish I had a video of me dragging that animal across the top of the levee down to the house. It felt like a scene out of a Rambo film.

It’s been a labor of love, the whole remodeling. We’re all busy in our jobs every single day. We hired someone to paint the entire house. He finally was like, “Bro, I cannot do this.”

I think we knew when we got hired to do it that we were helping him out. He was a great guy, and he was in contact with the previous owner. It seemed like we thought he may have underestimated it.

We think that’s what happened.

It was a lot.

You’re right to your point, he was a fantastic guy, but then coming in, I remember Lisa got there first and she was like, “Kelly. I’m glad I got here first because it was a disaster. You think it looks bad now, it’s much better.” We got in and we spent that whole summer finishing it off and making it not look like a manufactured home, I think, and making it comfortable for us.

We were leaving our day jobs on a Thursday and spending every single weekend, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then we were back in Branson for our day jobs. We were working while we were out there as well.

As many weekends we could take.

The whole summer pretty much. We bought in at the end of ‘21, 2022 summer was the harsh work.

The whole question of this thing is that we’re not filthy rich yet. We are like every other middle and upper-middle-class American family. We’re managing our resources to be able to provide for a land. This business model has to work. I mean, when we broke it down. The plan for this was to try to subsidize our income at least because this wasn’t a market. Like with Sola, Missouri, what’s the trout ranch nearby?

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Lake Longbow
Lake Longbow: We’re not filthy rich yet. We are just like every other middle and upper middleclass American family who’s managing our resources to be able to provide for our family. This business model has to work.

 

Rock Bridge.

That’s a very well-known upscale trout ranch. That’s like 15 minutes away. There’s not much zoning or any type of transient guest accommodations out there at all.

No regulations either.

Nothing is pulling people out there either.

We thought this might be a good spot for a VRBO for people, but there are not like 15 million people coming there like Branson. You can start a VRBO on Branson and do relatively well with no marketing. We’ve had to invent the market out there and it’s this retreat market. It’s difficult to market that. New VRBOs, new Airbnbs typically you have to ramp up.

The first year you do it, you’ve got to learn to become a host, learn the algorithms on the OTAs, and learn how to manage that, learn how to manage guests. We already knew how to do that because we were seasoned pros. We’re starting a new market here. We’re inventing a new market, which is this rent-a-ranch market, which didn’t exist, which of course I love being a pioneer in the industry.

I believe there’s a real need for it because it speaks to us and where we’re at in our lives and as busy as we are and fighting the socioeconomic BS like there are wars. There’s corruption in government. We don’t know what’s going to happen with Trump or Biden or the BS that comes along with that. We sort of have to regularly endure this oligarch world we live in that we feel like we can do very little about and then accept, take time with our families to retreat and try to sow into them. Help them be good humans because if in our generation we cannot affect change, there will be good humans out there who will do that. Without margin, families cannot be good wives, good husbands, good partners, and good disciples.

Without margin, families cannot be good wives, good husbands, good partners, or good disciples. If we don't have the margin, we can't create a better generation. Share on X

If we don’t have the margin, we cannot create a better generation. For me, in addition to knowing how much I love this place and how much it does that for me, I am such a giver. I want to share that with the rest of the world, how we build that message, and how we build accommodations that could accommodate people. Right now, we could have a couple of families. We have a small retreat, but we have all this land. How do we monetize it in a way that we can serve and so with our time, treasure, and talent, but at the same time, how do we make a good business model out of it? We took a huge risk by doing this. Let’s talk about that first year of finances. What was that like?

 

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Lake Longbow

 

That was the capital contribution needed.

I was talking to someone, I think back home and I was like, “I’m sick of this capital contribution nonsense.”

This sounds like a posh word for rubbish.

We all need to have more money.

This doesn’t sound like fun.

You know what? We made it work because we had to.

We waived what’s made it work.

How much did we make in rent the first year? How did we do percentage-wise? Did we 25% pay for the property or 50%? Did we subsidize it? Did it break even? No, it didn’t break even.

No. In 2023, that was the first full year that we went live with it. I would say 30%, and then the rest of it was up to us. Anything that we added to it was out of pocket as well. What did I say, 2023? So far this year, we had one capital contribution. It’s April, and for the foreseeable future, we’re going to be good. We’re at least going to be breakeven.

We did a good push on social media stuff and Reddit.

We didn’t do a ton of flyers or actual marketing or getting the word out about it. Lisa took care of setting up the infrastructure for marketing. Also let’s talk about, well hold on. Let’s stay on track like paying it off. I think we’re finally getting to the point now where we’re establishing a market. We got to a point where earlier this year, we had to have a business meeting. We had to say, “What is our mission here?” That’s when we realized that our customer avatar was responsible for people in need of retreat.

Now that we know our customer avatar, we can begin to send the message towards that. We also offered campaigns like Friends of Lake Longbow, which is, “Help us out and come and serve, and then we’ll let you stay here.” If you come and serve the cause and the mission, and put some sweat equity into it and maybe leave a little blood on the ground and a little longbow because every time we don’t put down trees. There’s that and for those people that help us clear the land, they all deserve it but this is a way for us to be able to help trade, use the asset as a way to sow into people. Let’s talk about how we named it.

It wasn’t like a meeting.

No, it was you two. There was no meeting involved. In the office.

I think we brought the subject up being out there one weekend.

I don’t know if we even had it.

No, I think we had because I remember thinking, “This is ridiculous.” because those conversations and when you’re trying to name something, you have to sift for a lot of bad names.

Here’s what I got. This is from Lisa. “Jeramie and I named our Lovers Lane property,” which is the address, “And we also bought the website.”

There’s no turning back.

It’s okay.

It’s fine. Trust us. They knew it in their DNA.

I love the backstory of it.

That’s something that the English, correct me if I’m wrong, English invention that was used by both sides? I don’t know.

It was a life-changing technology for tacticians in war.

In what country?

In England. The English longbow provided a tactical advantage in war because of its range. We’re thinking, how do we honor the story arc that you guys have, which is moving from the UK to the United States, which in and of itself is such a beautiful story. We talked about that on a podcast, one of our first podcasts. It’s a great story. It’s so courageous, you guys, to do that. Part of that is Matt being this British redneck, and how that happened. You don’t have to, it is you. You own it so well. You don’t have to be proud. You have the confidence you can have in that identity. It’s so strong. You deserve this land. This is your land. If we could get this land paid for so we could go retire there together and then cut the rest of the world off.

Cut this fantasy. Every time anything happens, we should go live at Lake Longbow. We’ll homeschool the kids. Everything will be fine.

That’s what I want to do. I’ll do it all the time.

I remember driving when we went and visited that day because we were on the four-wheeler, and coming along the road through the pasture, along the edge of the road to then the property, I remember saying to you, “I feel like a king looking over the land that we now own.” It’s a lot.

It is. When I go to those masterminds and talk to all of those CEOs that are there, it’s easier to get imposter syndrome when you walk into a room of all these powerful people. Except what you don’t realize is that stories that those people find important when you talk to them over dinners and stuff, it’s not about your accomplishments or the things that you’ve done. It’s the values that you hold, the things that you’ve done to honor those values and the actions that you’ve taken to honor those.

When I talk to those people about my accomplishments, it feels shallow like a big deal. Anybody who’s ambitious can do that. What have you done with the gift of your ambition? What are you doing with your time treasure and talent? We are honoring our families. We are honoring each other. We want to share as best we can and preserve it and follow every rule we can. We’re even paying commercial taxes on the property. That’s a long story. Don’t get me started. Being able to share this and taking the risks that we have is purposeful and it’s meaningful in our lives. It’s risky and it’s scary, and it’s also fun.

What have you done with the gift of your ambition? What are you doing with your time, treasure, and talent? Share on X

When you get out there and experience it and if you ever have the pleasure of doing that, you will understand what we mean and why we feel the way you feel about it. It’s something else. It does something to you when you’re out there when you don’t see what we named the home.

I heard you breathe deeply now. If you tell somebody, “We own this 80-acre ranch with a 10-acre lake.”

It sounds posh.

No. It’s not what you think.

It’s as redneck as it can be.

It is, but it’s so grounding. That’s what it is that you get. Our kids now will say, “We don’t care about the electronics for this weekend. We want to get out to Lake Longbow. We want to get dirty, We want to get muddy. We want to ride our four-wheelers and have an adventure and get in the lake.”

We don’t even know what they’re doing.

We don’t know what they’re going to do. We had an Easter egg.

We don’t even watch them.

We cook food for them and we leave it out and it’s fine. We had an Easter egg hunt out there on the 80 acres for Easter. It’s whatever we come up with.

Lisa runs naked in the e-field.

It’s only once.

What I said was true.

Well done. What you said was true.

When is your turn?

I dressed up for you tonight.

She dressed up for the occasion.

What do we want to leave people with with Longbow?

The song.

We can go to the song. I’m excited about what we’ve got planned there.

It’s a never-ending story. That’s what I think.

Anyway, Matt was talking.

I’m excited about what we’re doing.

There’s a lot that can be done and we’re still going to work hard on it, regardless.

Like you said, it’s a 20-year project.

We could stop now, but we don’t want to.

I think it is the highest and best. It’s going to be a clear shoreline. It’s going to be a deer camp with a tree house built for men, by men. A place to shoot a deer with a heater on and electricity and coffee.

We’re going for a full hunt across the board this year. We’ve got turkey we need to squeeze in. We’ve got frogs. We’re putting bass carp in the lake. That’s going to be next.

Bow fishing.

Bow fishing for the bass carp. We’ve got endless cropy bass.

They need to be fished out of there.

We need to eat fish for a few weekends.

Morello mushrooms.

The Morello’s.

Yes, the Morello mushrooms.

I’m not quite redneck enough yet. I’m learning.

It was also important for Lisa and I to have a place that we loved, that we felt was beautiful and comfortable, and that we were proud of. The whole point of establishing new properties for people or places for them to stay is to share these experiences with other families that need them.

The ultimate goal I think is not to create this turn-and-burn Airbnb that everybody who’s entered the short-term rental industry has done.

What do you call it?

Classic vacation rental.

It’s not like we’re trying to fit as many as possible so we can get as many people out there and tiny spaces either.

It comes with an experience.

How do we integrate the indoors and the outdoors to create peaceful moments of margin for responsible people in need of retreat? If we can help you find those moments and establish those relationships, then that’s what we want to do because that’s what we’re doing for ourselves. That’s why we did it. That’s why we’re doing it.

Cheers!

 

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